Knife Club

We Are Knife Club

Written by: MAK on 30/12/2020 13:45:22

Shortly before the UK went into lockdown the first time round, there was ever-growing hype for who might be in the anonymous new punk group Knife Club. For months all we knew about Knife Club, was that they were six people with some kind of connections in the punk scene based on the kind of festival lineups they were finding themselves on without even having a gig. On April 1st it was revealed that Knife Club consisted of Andy Davies and Chris Hinsley, formerly of Revenge of the Psychotronic Man, Zoe Barrow of Casual Nausea, Dan Flanagan of Matildas Scoundrels and Haest, Eliott Verity of Nosebleed and Dani Rascal of Faintest Idea. A collection of musicians from various bands in the TNS Records back catalogue, this is very much a TNS supergroup designed for festival appearances, and if it wasn't for Coronavirus, they would have been playing shows shortly after revealing the members.

Throughout April, Knife Club teased a couple of singles before releasing their debut album, "We Are Knife Club". My initial reaction to this album based on who was involved was slightly underwhelming. When you have members of bands from various avenues of punk that includes, hardcore, ska, folk, rock and roll and more, I suppose I expected more of an eclectic sound throughout. Once I got past that, I appreciated these tracks more for what they were, and they did tend to make more sense.

The "core" sound for Knife Club is fast, punchy, punk-rock that is pretty pissed off, nothing new. It's almost bread and butter for any TNS release. Fronted by Andy and Zoe on vocals, the two already have experience in fronting these kinds of bands and the combination of their vocals feels like a complete collaboration between ROTPM and Casual Nausea. Especially on the opening track, "Making a Big Meal of It" as the two spit venom about selfish people that lack integrity. The high-tempo, razor-shard delivery leaks right into the follow-up, "Schnitt Mit Dem Küchenmesser", driving the sound in a more hardcore direction to back the disdain the band has for the bourgeois. The closing shouted lyrics in both tracks are rather catchy at the same time as the layered vocals invite you to join in.

The refreshing take on this release is that it's not all piss and vinegar, there is some melody the evolves into the sound throughout, emerging a bit in "Remember the Gold Dollar Sign Hoodie" and it piques more in tracks likes "The Tibby Tan Tiger" and "Working Class Tory". "The Tibby Tan Tiger" is more of a 90s melodic skate punk track, not too dissimilar to the chirpy upbeat sound that Werecats produce. "Working Class Tory" comes across more as a pissy, yet catchy anthem with an I told you so message to anyone who voted tory, but is still considered working class.

The continuing political theme flows in "The 1%", a short, roughly minute-long blast of angsty hardcore punk that spouts "The 1% are selfish cunts". However it's not all politics, "Remember the Gold Dollar Sign Hoodie" pays attention to shows closer to home, taking a stab at the freeloaders in the scene that won't pay for anything. "I Mean I'd Probably Take An Adidas Endorsement" then rips into the people that are more in it for the money than the music, and pushes the positivity of DIY. Album closer, the amusingly named "TNSCLUB7" is all about sticking together, even if we don't get it right. But together we can build something that can last.

"We Are Knife Club" is a strong album, a twenty-minute blast, combining hardcore and melodic punk, with tracks that are designed to create pits, as well have mass singalongs. These tracks are catered in a way that can cause the wildest of behaviour. At the same time, lyrically there is some clear shit about the scene and politics that these members wanted to get off their chests, there is no holding back. It's just a shame it was released at a time of social distancing, we probably won't know until the next festival season. Fun fact; due to the members living in separate towns and cities scattered around the UK, this album was actually written in way of social distancing before it was enforced. Written by the socially distanced for the socially distanced, you couldn't make that up.

8

Download: The Tibby Tan Tiger, Working Class Tory, Tnsclub7
For The Fans Of: Casual Nausea, Revenge of the Psychotronic Man, Bobby Funk
Listen: Facebook

Release date 01.05.2020
TNS Records

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